Civil & Environmental EngineeringCentre for Water, Environment, Sustainability & Public Health

We undertake fundamental and applied research to provide novel solutions to some of the most pressing environmental challenges, working both locally and internationally.

Our expertise includes:

  • water
  • public & environmental health
  • soil contamination, restoration & remediation
  • environmental assessment
  • waste, energy & the circular economy
  • international development
  • natural hazards and climate change

Head of Centre

Main areas of research

Environmental assessment

Elsa João, Richard Lord 

  • strategic environmental assessment
  • environmental assessment as a design tool
  • enhancement
  • climate change: perceptions of risk and uncertainty  

Public & environmental health

Tara Beattie, Ian Beverland, Charles Knapp, Tracy Morse

  • public health
  • air quality and human health
  • public health in developing countries
  • antimicrobial/antibiotic resistance

Soil contamination, restoration & remediation

Christine Switzer, Richard Lord, Bob Kalin, Charles Knapp, Joanna Renshaw  

  • contaminated land
  • smouldering remediation
  • environmental microbiology
  • soil amendments & restoration


Dr Christopher White, Bob Kalin, Vernon Phoenix, Charles Knapp, Doug Bertram

  • integrated water resource management
  • water resources engineering (hydrogeology and surface water hydrology)
  • water infrastructure and energy systems
  • water policy (trans-boundary aquifers)
  • water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
  • quantifying and controlling pollution transport in the subsurface
  • remediation of contaminated groundwaters
  • sustainable urban drainage systems
  • wastewater treatment
  • floods, droughts and climate change

Natural hazards & climate change

Dr Christopher White

  • natural hazards
  • climate change impacts to the built environment
  • prediction of extreme weather events
  • compound events
  • multi-hazard risk management

Waste, energy & the circular economy

Elsa João, Richard Lord, Charles Knapp, Bob Kalin, Vernon Phoenix

  • triple helix and sustainable development
  • the Circular Economy and the role of networks of innovation
  • reuse of organic wastes in the Circular Biobased Economy
  • recycling of soils, sediments and inorganic solid wastes
  • reuse of brownfields, former landfills and contaminated land for renewable energy
  • characterisation, treatment and recovery of hazardous wastes, especially contaminated soils
  • waste management in developing countries

International development

Our international development work focuses on sustainable development, groundwater resource management, water sanitation & hygiene and public health.

Our global reach includes a particular focus on Malawi.